Man Notes™ III

First of all, thanks to those with advice on the living situation, both in comments and via email/ichat, etc. Part of the blogging exercise, for me, is to put my thoughts down and figure stuff out, which I had pretty much done by the time I hit "publish". Still appreciate the input. Here's the plan:

Will try the roommate situation out and see how it goes. I would rather not move if I can help it, and this seems to be the only solution to that desire. If it sucks, at least it's fodder for my bitchfest here.

In response to Jeff's McShrinking of my brain in regards to relationships, and also because I'm sure many who read the dating stuff on here have the same idea, let me clarify my process for you. This is also a good opportunity for me to turn the tables on the Man Notes, and focus more on what's in a woman's brain. If you possess the xy chromosomes, you will likely be confused, and that amuses me.

  • First Meeting: I, like many women I know, can pretty much determine whether a guy is dating material in a matter of minutes. I'm not super focused on the physical, though it doesn't hurt, but for the most part, the easiest way for me to agree to go out with a guy is if he makes me laugh.

  • Level of infatuation: Here is where the hopeless romantic/cynical parts of my brain become like dueling swordsmen. If I go out with a guy and have a good time, I pretty much reserve judgment for the next date or two. If he does just one thing that really annoys me, I know at that exact moment I won't see him again. If, however, I have a really good time..the kind where I could stay in his company for days and the conversation flows endlessly, and there's laughter and all that good stuff, I get easily infatuated. This doesn't happen all too frequently. The most interesting thing about this to my close friends is that the first example, where I'm not really sure if I'm even interested, and the last one, where the phone ringing the following day gives me butterflies in my stomach...fairly indecipherable to anyone but me. Both of those guys would know I had fun, and would fully expect me to go out with them again. But I would put really good money on the fact that the guy I'm totally crushing on would have no idea that I'm more than merely amused by him.

    This is not an intentional thing on my part. Like I said, it's the romantic/cynical battle manifesting itself. I'm not playing it cool, or other such stupid game, it's just the way I am. I am, by nature, very affectionate. I flirt, I hug, I playfully shove at times. Both of those scenarios would include all that flirting, so it's not like I'm a poker face. I just don't reveal too much of what's in my head.

  • Finding Fault: I joke about looking for what's wrong in MWP, and with any guy I have the infatuation thing for. Am I really looking for things to pick apart? Not really. I am merely reminding myself that those things are going to be there at some point, and not to turn a blind eye just because he's so damn adorable. Some of those things are superficial and of no consequence, and some are actual fatal personality flaws that are deal-breakers. I just think it's important to be able to distinguish between the two.

  • When the guard comes down: This is tough, because when the guard actually goes down and when it appears to are vastly different. The fact that I am so flirty and I easily make light of things through sarcasm can make it seem like my guard is completely down long before it is. I think it's fair to say that I wait until I feel like I really know somebody, and not just the face they put on for the early dating stage, where, let's face it, it's a bit like a boyfriend audition. I get the list of fabulous attributes (I cook, I went to so-and-so school, I have opinions about this and that, etc), which is all good stuff to know, but the long haul lies in the details. The quirks that make all of us "us". Those things need to mesh, and they don't fully reveal themselves until someone is comfortable enough to let them out.

  • Laying it on the line: If things have progressed past the point that my guard is down..this is where it gets tricky. I have been in two loooong term relationships (7 and 6 years), and I'm not very old. In between, there were shorter relationships/brief dating spurts, but they generally never got to this point. There is one exception, and more on him in a moment. The tricky part to me is the commitment/let it go question. I used to think I had a fear of commitment, and perhaps in a way I do, really. I obviously spend way too much time when I'm in a relationship that isn't going to work because I want to believe that love will conquer all (Is there a surgery to amputate the hopeless romantic gene?). That doesn't mean I've been foolish enough to make the big leap to marriage, because I knew that there were very innate problems. I was, however, foolish enough to think those problems would get resolved at some point, and hence the sticking around for years. My biggest lesson has been to recognize that, and I hope I've learned it by now. Only time will tell.

The last scenario that pummeled through the stage of letting my guard down was a test of that recognition, and I have to admit, while a part of me is proud that I really tried to apply that lesson, I still sometimes have brief moments when I question what might have been. It was classic infatuated me, but it was all-consuming. He is the one guy, ever, who likely knew that I was really into him almost immediately. I just couldn't hold back, in all honesty, and I don't know that I would have wanted to. It was intense and fun and terribly romantic, but it was short lived. There were difficult circumstances (he lived very very far away) and I was still dealing with a failing relationship when we met, so it was complicated. The part that tested me was when things went quite suddenly from intense and amazing to strangely indifferent. There could have been a myriad of reasons for it, including the aforementioned complications. I simply didn't stick around to find out. The last time I saw him, things had changed. It was that simple to me. I could have dragged it out and tried to see if it would get better, but I do have a belief that people are put in our lives for a purpose, and for some reason, I really felt like it was time for me to figure out that I couldn't wait around for something to get better, and just let it go. Even after the long term relationship experiences I've had, it was probably the hardest thing I've ever done. I was heartbroken. But I took control of the situation and I didn't let it happen to me. It was oddly empowering. A very small consolation for the suckiness of it all, but something nonetheless.

Hopefully someday, the Man Notes will contain the subheading "How you know you found 'the one'". Until then, we're all just learning together.


Jeff said...

Wouldn't it have been much easier to say, "Jeff was right. Just read his comment?"